- Clients: Kristin and Quinn with Kids - 2 year old son, 4 year old daughter, and Dog Jasper.
- Location: NW Denver
- Size: One Room, ~200 SF
Today we are getting an inside look at a complete HappyBoxTM project from start to finish! If you aren’t familiar...HappyBox is our interior eDesign service that gives you a step-by-step design plan created just for you to implement at your own pace. With HappyBox, clients submit their own measurements and photos, leaving the design work to us. The result is a custom design plan delivered in a beautiful box to the client’s doorstep. They have everything they need (including ongoing support by us) to complete the look on their own. It’s an affordable way to work with an interior designer by sharing some of the work along the way.
The best part is...I can work with clients from all over the country!
Be sure to check out the Client Q&A Video (below) where I ask Kristin what challenges she overcame as we went through the process.
I love how happy and cheerful the space turned out! The clients were a blast to work with every step of the way and were up for taking risks. It paid off.
Form & Function
This room is the first thing you see when you walk into the house. Clearly it was designed to be a formal dining room. Instead, they decided it would be better as an additional living space where they could read, play games, or enjoy a nightcap with friends…sans television. They had lived in the house for almost a year, yet nothing became of the space. It became the place where they put random furniture pieces with little functionality and zero personality. “I was stuck,” Kristin says.
They wanted a space where they could curl up comfortably. It needed to have storage as you walked in…keys, purses, shoes, etc. With two young kids, a giant dog, and frequent gatherings with friends, it was also important it was beautiful, but not “precious”. I agree. No one with kids needs to be paranoid about spills, stains, and maintenance.
Kristin described wanting a space that had a farmhouse feel but not “country”. She wanted it to be “fresh and feminine”. And while they were ready to put some money into the room, they had a very real budget. I was up for the challenge.
At first glance it seemed like a straightforward room. But once I surveyed the details, it was clear I had a bit of a challenge. The best feature of this room (arguably besides the great millwork details) was the large picture window. Ideally, I wanted to put a sofa facing it for the best view. But the sofa wall wasn’t centered on the window wall, so that would have looked “wonky”. The dog door, return air, vents, and wine fridge all posed obstacles as well.
After playing around with it, I settled on a layout that created a virtual hallway by placing a floating console right when you walk in with storage for shoes, keys, etc. I’d place the sofa and a pair of chairs facing each other to make a conversation pit. This allowed all of the seating to still maintain views to the big picture window. The main wall you see when you walk in would become the feature wall. Two small (and lightweight) cocktail tables can easily be moved around for greater flexibility. The left side of the sofa had to remain clear for the dog door.
The Mood Board
With every HappyBox, we start with a mood board first. This is a conceptual look at what the room will feel like before we start diving into details like furniture and lighting. It’s a critical step to the design process. To do this, I take early client interviews and create a collage made up of pictures, colors, patterns, words, and other visual elements to capture the overall feeling of the space. The ultimate goal is to translate what they say into what they see.
Then I give them the chance to provide feedback. “Am I headed in the right direction? What do you love? Not love?”
Other than a few minor comments, Kristin was pretty much on board for everything she was seeing. Yay!
Over the next few weeks, I took the moodboard, the budget, and the layout to create a design that would check all the boxes on Kristin’s wishlist. Everything was beautifully packaged in a box and delivered to her doorstep. It it included:
✓ The Design Board - All of the furnishings, accessories, and lighting in a collage
✓ The Resource Guide - The clickable shopping list for everything in the design plan
✓ Furniture Layout - A labeled floor plan of where everything goes
✓ Material Samples - Samples of wallpaper, fabrics, and more
✓ The Design Narrative - A guide to my thought process and decision making for the room
I always suggest to clients that they not rip into the package the minute they walk through the door. Instead, I recommend waiting for a quiet moment when they can enjoy the opening experience together. Put the kids to bed early, pour yourself a hot tea or glass of wine and get settled. It an investment. Not an Amazon Prime delivery.
Once Kristin had time to let it all ruminate, we chatted on the phone about her reactions to the package. We understand that clients might want a few additional options for some of the things we suggest, so we make sure to include 3 re-selections with every HappyBox service we offer. In this case, Kristin was onboard with all of it!
I counted 6 times when Kristin used the word "fresh" to describe the look she wanted. I felt like the best way to achieve that was to start with a fresh coat of white paint. (I always recommend high-quality scrubbable paint for homes with kids, especially when light colors are selected. See sources listed below). Next we created a whimsical focal point with the black and white bird wallpaper. The curtains and rug soften the space and provide textural interest. The white slipcover sofa was upholstered in a performance fabric that sheds spills and is also washable. The console table with a pair of lamps creates division between the "hallway" and the living room. I chose the slipper chairs not only for their beautiful navy velvet upholstery, but also because the size was perfect. They were small enough for the room, but substantial enough to be comfortable for the average person. A vintage style sputnik chandelier was a perfect balance of old and new. Semi-custom Pierre Frey throw pillows finish the look. Finally, a pair of lightweight cocktail tables, provide a perch for a drink and a book. For after dinner conversation with friends, they can be moved around the room to accommodate guests and their drinks as well.
In addition to the overall design, I provided budget-friendly alternatives as well. In this case, an option for the console table and DIY photo wall that would provide high impact for a few bucks.
Because I'm not with my client when they review their HappyBox, it's important to provide additional information that will help them understand the thinking behind some of the decisions. This page explains some of that with images and notes.
Completing the Room
Over the next few weeks, Kristin used the Resource Guide to order the furnishings we suggested. I put her in touch with a painter and wallpaper hanger. If she had questions along the way, a quick email got her on track again.
For clients who live in the Denver area, I offer Installation & Styling Services as an Add-on option. Kristin decided to take advantage of that service. After the room was painted and the wallpaper was hung, my handyman and I came in to complete room in a day. Together we hung the new light, unpacked and installed the furniture and curtains, and finished the room with accessories.
Of course, these things never go off without a hitch. Never. The console table and side lamps arrived damaged. I was totally bummed. A quick call to my supplier took care of the table. They overnighted a replacement of the broken part. A Target run took care of the lamps. While I was there, I grabbed a few more accessories to finish the look. Because why not.
The Big Reveal
At the end of the day, Kristin arrived home to a completely transformed space. This is what happened.
I wanted to hear exactly what Kristin thought about the process and learn what worked great for her, or perhaps what could be made easier. Here is what she had to say.
Are you ready for your own room makeover?
If you have a room that you are ready to makeover, consider our HappyBox Service. It's fun, affordable, and we make it so easy. Of course, you will have some homework along the way, but we provide a Client Toolkit that gives you easy step-by-step instructions.
There are other eDesign type services out there, many of them cheaper. But what do you really expect with a $99 room design?
When you work with us, you can expect a high-quality, thoughtful, and customized interior design plan along with ongoing support to help you see it through. We source furnishings from a variety of places...not just major retailers. That means vintage, semi-custom items, the best of Etsy, even Craigslist! And we love to work with pieces you already own. The result is a room with depth and character. Not a generic page from a catalog. The difference is clear. Are you ready?